Fire leaves fraternity house uninhabitable

Zach Rodheim said he was shocked to learn a fire had struck his Champaign home away from home, Tuesday evening.

Rodheim, a sophomore in FAA and member of the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, lives in a room almost directly underneath the portion of the attic where the fire started.

Following the fire, Delta Tau Delta, 401 E. John St., has been deemed uninhabitable by local authorities.

“I’d say this was a pretty traumatizing thing,” Rodheim said. “They had to break into my room to get to the fire.”

Since the University’s spring break ends Sunday, these students will need to find alternative places to live before returning to classes Monday.

“There are 56 people trying to find places to live,” Rodheim said. “We have had several offers from dorms and apartments but no one really knows where they’re going to go.”

Tim Wild, deputy fire chief in Champaign said no one was injured and investigators are continuing to determine the cause of the fire.

“We have been interviewing construction workers who were working in nearby areas,” Wild said. “There were also some electrical cords and lights in the attic and we don’t know if this could have caused the combustion.”

Wild said he estimates the damage to be between $100,000 and $200,000.

The fire mostly damaged the rafters in the ceiling of the roof on the third floor. The walls and framework also suffered from water and smoke damage, Wild added.

Rodheim said he believes most of the things he left in his room have been destroyed.

He added that another fraternity member owned a television, computer, play station 2, as well as other technological devices, which have may been damaged as well.

“Think the worst, but hope for the best.” Rodheim said. “That’s all we can do.”